Third Substitute H.B. 418

Senator Wayne A. Harper proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: LaVar Christensen

Senate Sponsor: Wayne A. Harper

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends provisions concerning the visitation rights of a grandparent.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    amends definitions; and
             13          .    provides that a grandparent may petition for visitation after a parent's rights have
             14      been terminated, unless the grandchild is adopted by a nonrelative.
             15      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             16          None
             17      Other Special Clauses:
             18          None
             19      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             20      AMENDS:
             21           30-5-1 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 85
             22           30-5-2 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2005, Chapter 129
             24      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             25          Section 1. Section 30-5-1 is amended to read:

             26           30-5-1. Definitions.
             27          As used in this act:
             28          (1) "District court" means the district court with proper jurisdiction over the
             29      grandchild.
             30          (2) "Grandchild" means the child with respect to whom a grandparent is seeking
             31      visitation rights under this chapter.
             32          (3) "Grandparent" means [a person] an individual whose child, either by blood,
             33      marriage, or adoption, is the parent of the grandchild.
             34          Section 2. Section 30-5-2 is amended to read:
             35           30-5-2. Visitation rights of grandparents.
             36          (1) (a) As used in this section,
             37          (i) "Grandparent" is as defined in Section 30-5-1 , and includes a grandparent of a child:
             38          (A) whose parent's rights are terminated under Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5,
             39      Termination of Parental Rights Act: and
             40          (B) who is adopted by a relative of the child at the time of adoption.
             41          (ii) "Nonrelative" means individual who is not a relative of the grandchild at the time
             42      of adoption.
             43          (iii) "Relative" means an individual related to the grandchild by marriage or blood as:
             44          (A) a sibling;
             45          (B) an aunt;
             46          (C) an uncle; or
             47          (D) a grandparent.
             48          [(1)] (b) Grandparents have standing to bring an action in district court by petition,
             49      requesting visitation in accordance with the provisions and requirements of this section.
             50      Grandparents may also file a petition for visitation rights in a pending divorce proceeding or
             51      other proceeding involving custody and visitation issues.
             52          (2) There is a rebuttable presumption that a parent's decision with regard to
             53      grandparent visitation is in the grandchild's best interests. However, the court may override the
             54      parent's decision and grant the petitioner reasonable rights of visitation if the court finds that
             55      the petitioner has rebutted the presumption based upon factors which the court considers to be
             56      relevant, such as whether:

             57          (a) the petitioner is a fit and proper person to have visitation with the grandchild;
             58          (b) visitation with the grandchild has been denied or unreasonably limited;
             59          (c) the parent is unfit or incompetent;
             60          (d) the petitioner has acted as the grandchild's custodian or caregiver, or otherwise has
             61      had a substantial relationship with the grandchild, and the loss or cessation of that relationship
             62      is likely to cause harm to the grandchild;
             63          (e) the petitioner's child, who is a parent of the grandchild, has died, or has become a
             64      noncustodial parent through divorce or legal separation;
             65          (f) the petitioner's child, who is a parent of the grandchild, has been missing for an
             66      extended period of time; or
             67          (g) visitation is in the best interest of the grandchild.
             68          (3) The adoption of a grandchild by the grandchild's stepparent does not diminish or
             69      alter visitation rights previously ordered under this section.
             70          (4) Subject to the provisions of Subsections (2) and (3), the court may inquire of the
             71      grandchild and take into account the grandchild's desires regarding visitation.
             72          (5) On the petition of a grandparent or the legal custodian of a grandchild the court
             73      may, after a hearing, modify an order regarding grandparent visitation if:
             74          (a) the circumstances of the grandchild, the grandparent, or the custodian have
             75      materially and substantially changed since the entry of the order to be modified, or the order
             76      has become unworkable or inappropriate under existing circumstances; and
             77          (b) the court determines that a modification is appropriate based upon the factors set
             78      forth in Subsection (2).
             79          (6) Grandparents may petition the court to remedy a parent's wrongful noncompliance
             80      with a visitation order.
             81          (7) Unless the child is adopted by a nonrelative, when a parent's rights are terminated
             82      under Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 5, Termination of Parental Rights Act:
             83          (a) the rights of a grandparent of a child are not extinguished; and
             84          (b) a grandparent of a child may:
             85          (i) bring an action or file a petition for visitation rights as described in Subsection (1);
             86      or
             87          (ii) file a petition for visitation rights in a pending adoption matter in juvenile court or

             88      district court.

[Bill Documents][Bills Directory]